Lahore: Under-pressure from politicians, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi on Wednesday informed the National Assembly Committee that the cricket team has been barred from performing celebratory push-ups after winning matches.
According to a report by Pakistan daily Dawn, the PCB`s move came after several politicians raised fingers during a meeting of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee over the team performing push-ups after victory in international matches.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was the first to perform the gesture after completing his century on the opening day of the first Test against England in July, after which the entire team repeated it upon their victory at the Lord`s cricket ground.
"We did a camp in Abbottabad before the skill camp in Lahore, and we used to do an honour code every time, we just stepped into the ground and did 10 push-ups. And I promised them, if ever I score a hundred, I will definitely do that to remind you that we were there," Misbah had said, mentioning the pre-tour boot camp with the Pakistan Army, when probed on the gesture.
But the political fraternity back home was not amused by Misbah`s gesture and questioned his act.
"Who were Misbah-ul-Haq and other players giving a message to by doing push-ups," Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Muhammad Afzal asked.
Another PML-N leader, Chaudhary Nazeer Ahmad, opined that while physical movement was a healthy activity, "it would have been better if the players offered nawafil (special prayers) instead of doing push-ups on the victory".
Sethi, however, defended his captain saying that the 42-year-old performed the push-ups only to show his fitness levels after completing a century, which was later followed by other players.
Contrary to the reports, Najam Sethi himself tweeted later on:-
Oh for God's sake, there is no ban on pushups! In fact I think players should do 100 pushups when they score a century!!
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) October 26, 2016
"Oh for God's sake, there is no ban on pushups! In fact I think players should do 100 pushups when they score a century!!" - wrote Sethi.
(With Agency inputs)